A digital bank account with budgeting tools, fast and easy payments and more.
N26 is a digital bank account and app that has a bunch of useful features. These include budgeting tools such as automatic spending categorisation and your daily spend amount plus the ability to set withdrawal limits and save using the Spaces feature.
In this review of N26 Bank’s card and app we break down all of its features, costs and limits so you can see if the app is going to suit you.
Elizabeth Barry is Finder's global fintech editor. She has written about finance for over five years and has been featured in a range of publications and media including Seven News, the ABC, Mamamia, Dynamic Business and Financy. Elizabeth has a Bachelor of Communications and a Master of Creative Writing from the University of Technology Sydney. In 2017, she received the Highly Commended award for Best New Journalist at the IT Journalism Awards. Elizabeth has found writing about innovations in financial services to be her passion (which has surprised no one more than herself).
How does N26 work?
N26 is a digital bank that’s available in a number of countries across Europe, including Ireland. When you sign up with N26 Bank, you have four account options to choose from; N26 Standard, N26 Smart, N26 You and N26 Metal.
N26 Standard is the most basic account and the only free option. The Smart, You and Metal accounts each have monthly fees attached to them but also more features for you to benefit from. All four accounts come with a Mastercard, an app, free ATM withdrawals in Euros and free payments in any currency. The app offers spending insights, security options and other useful features to help you understand and manage your money.
You manage your N26 account out of the app, which is accessible from your smartphone, or the N26 web app.
Key features of N26
You can do a lot with N26 in Ireland. This includes:
100% digital banking. N26 offers a virtual debit card for all account tiers, which is issued instantly upon account opening. The virtual debit card is compatible with both Apple Pay and Google Pay, and may be used to withdraw cash from contactless NFC-enabled ATMs.
Manage, transfer and spend in multiple currencies. N26’s currencies feature is powered by Wise, letting you send money in 19 currencies from the app. You won’t be charged for foreign currency transactions or for a limited number of ATM withdrawals in Euros. The You and Metal accounts also won’t charge you for foreign currency ATM withdrawals.
Google Pay and Apple Pay. Make contactless payments with your smartphone by adding your N26 card to Apple Pay or Google Pay.
Security. Set and change daily spend and withdrawal limits, reset your PIN, lock and unlock your card and enable or disable online or foreign payments.
Budgeting tools. Get automatic spending categorisation, view spending analysis and insights and create your own personal tags to organise your transactions.
Save with spaces. If you want to save for a specific goal you can use N26’s Spaces function. It lets you put money into small sub-accounts that are kept away from your main funds.
MoneyBeam. This feature lets you send money to your contacts without needing to know their bank details. Money is sent to fellow N26 users instantly or within two days if they’re not with N26.
IBAN. You’ll be able to set up standing orders and receive and make payments the way you would with a traditional bank.
Manage from multiple devices. Many challenger banks are only available through a smartphone app, but N26 also allows you to access your account from its web app as well.
What are the card options?
N26 offers four different account tiers: N26 Standard, N26 Smart, N26 You and N26 Metal.
The following additional benefits and costs apply to the N26 Standard account:
A virtual debit card
0% currency conversion fee
€0 monthly fee
Access two sub-accounts in Spaces to build your savings
Make 3 withdrawals per month in Euros. You’ll pay €2 per withdrawal thereafter
1.7% fee for non-euro withdrawals
The following additional benefits and costs apply to the N26 Smart account:
€4.90 monthly fee
Make 5 free withdrawals per month in Euros, then €2 per withdrawal thereafter
1.7% fee for non-euro withdrawals
Access up to 10 sub-accounts in Spaces so you can monitor your individual savings goals
0% currency conversion fee
The following additional benefits and costs apply to the N26 You account:
A monthly fee of €9.90
Make 5 withdrawals per month for free in Euros. There’s a €2 fee per withdrawal thereafter
Unlimited free non-euro withdrawals
Create up to 10 sub-accounts to track and reach your individual savings goals
0% currency conversion fee
Allianz insurance package which includes travel insurance, winter sport insurance and extended warranty on select purchases
The following additional benefits and costs apply to the N26 Metal account:
You’ll need to pay a monthly fee of €16.90
Make 8 withdrawals per month for free in Euros, then €2 per withdrawal thereafter
Unlimited free non-euro withdrawals
You can create up to ten Spaces sub-accounts to meet your savings goals
A foreign currency conversion fee of 0%
An Allianz insurance package that includes cover for foreign medical expenses, flight and luggage delay cover, winter sport cover, theft insurance, car rental insurance and purchase protection.
The Metal account comes with a stainless steel Mastercard available in three shades.
You will receive dedicated customer support when you sign up to the Metal account. You can get in touch by phone, chat or through the app.
As a Premium N26 customer you’ll have access to exclusive offers including discounts and experiences.
There are a few different costs, fees and limits to consider when you choose a personal account with N26, including:
Monthly fee. You’ll pay an ongoing monthly maintenance fee if you have the Smart (€4.90), You (€9.90) or Metal (€16.90) account. There is no monthly fee for the Standard account.
ATM withdrawals. Each account comes with a certain number of free ATM withdrawals, starting with three free withdrawals for the Standard account per month. If you exceed this limit with any of the accounts a €2 fee applies. For ATM withdrawals in other currencies, a 1.7% fee applies per withdrawal with the N26 Standard and N26 Smart account.
Currency conversion fee. N26 offers free currency conversions with all accounts.
Overdraft fee. If you overdraw your account you’ll pay a fee of 8.9%.
Extra Mastercard. N26 Smart, You and Metal accounts can get an additional card for a one-off €10 fee.
New customers to pay interest on savings over €50,000
New N26 customers that make deposits of more than €50,000 will be charged 0.5% on the amount held over €50,000. N26 Metal account holders and existing customers will be exempt from this negative interest. N26 is the first bank in Ireland to charge customers interest for holding savings over a certain limit.
N26 is a good option to consider for a few reasons. You can use it to spend in and transfer multiple currencies fee-free, get on top of your spending with the budgeting tools and benefit from extra perks such as insurance. If you’re not looking to pay for a bank account, N26’s free N26 Standard account still has a lot of the features that make it worth signing up for including budgeting tools and foreign currency spending and transfers. You just won’t get extra perks such as insurance and you’ll be charged a small fee for ATM withdrawals in other currencies.
If you want a more feature-packed account, the three other paid accounts are likely to be worth it if you’ll use the features. If you plan to make large deposits as a new customer, just be aware that you’ll be charged interest on the balance over €50,000 unless you opt for the N26 Metal account.
How to apply
Opening an account with N26 is fast and easy. You can do it from your smartphone or computer and it only takes a few minutes.
Reside in a supported country (for example, Ireland)
Have a tax identification number
Have a valid identity document
Have a smartphone
Click “Go to Site” to be securely redirected to N26’s website
Enter your email address and personal information
Confirm your email address
Select the type of account you want (N26 Standard, N26 Smart, N26 You or N26 Metal)
Verify your identity
Make a small deposit to activate your account
Wait to receive your card. This will take between two and three working days.
Every N26 bank account has deposit protection: the compensation scheme of German banks guarantees up to €100,000. N26 also offers a Bug Bounty programme which offers cash rewards to encourage security researchers to track down bugs or vulnerabilities.
The app itself has a three-tier security procedure protecting your account and transactions. Your account can only be paired to one smartphone at a time, you must log in to your account using your password or fingerprint and you must verify all online and offline transactions with your PIN.
To top-up your account or receive money into it you can use your N26 account’s IBAN and your full name.
N26 doesn’t charge any fees to receive transfers or salary payments, so you will receive 100% of whatever amount your employer or anyone else sends you.
You can open an N26 account if you are at least 18 years of age, own a smartphone, and are a resident of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US.
Yes. It is licensed by the European Central Bank, so your deposits up to €100,000 are guaranteed by the European deposit guarantee scheme.
N26 transfer transactions are completed within one banking day. However, due to the opening times of the participating banks, one banking day may stretch to two working days.
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